Catching Up with Bees and Brush

May 27th, 2008

We’ve had so much rain lately that everything goes squish! I will say the grass has come in very nicely this year, especially the areas I’ve planted seed. But the garden plants are hoping for a little more sun and hot weather. More rain today, but after this we may have a good break for a while.

I need to head outside and plant a few more evergreens to grow as a windbreak near the beehives. The bees are doing well, but the windy and rainy weather has also cooped them up a little too. I’m feeding them sugar syrup still and checked on them this weekend. I found the queen in hive #2 looking strong and going up and down a frame of comb. I couldn’t find her in hive #1, but the bees in both hives had built out new comb on almost half the frames in the lower hive body already. On some frames they had even put up honey as well. It’s amazing how fast they work and build the wax comb.

The beehives sit on a southern slope near some oak trees. They get a lot of sun during the day, but also some afternoon shade. We’ll see how the location works out for these two. I’m not sure if it’s the best spot, but I really like them here.

Beehives on the slope across the pond

Even though I didn’t see the queen in the #1 hive, it looked like everything was fine. The bees had built a little filled comb in wider space near the top, not quite on a frame. So I scraped it off and saved it for the boy and we had a taste of honey! I’ll check on their progress again next week and by then we will have much warmer weather each day. There are a lot of flowers blooming now, so the bees won’t lack for pollen or nectar.

Otherwise we’ve been clearing a lot of brush along the fencerows. The tree branches really grow and overhang too much if you let them. Every couple of years you have to cut them back as they grow taller, or cut them out altogether. A good chainsaw and a polesaw works wonders. The young boy really helped me out the past few days, and after cutting up the branches we made 4-5 trips with the tractor piled high. It doesn’t look like much but it took hours to finish.

John Deer 2320 tractor piled with tree branches

Thank goodness for the tractor and the loader bucket; it’s not big, but it does the job very well. Kind of like having a really large hand to carry and move things around. After making a huge pile behind the barn I stood out in a rainstorm and made a big fire to burn up the brush. Between cutting grass, spreading mulch (and everyone pitching in to clean the house!) those were the big events this weekend as we prepared for a nice visit with family.

3 Responses to “Catching Up with Bees and Brush”

  1. My parents farm around 2500 acres and as a youth, my winter job was cleaning up fencerows. With so many fences, we made it around them all only once about every three years. Never ceased to amaze me how fast things grow.

  2. I can’t even conceive of 2500 acres…! Especially taking care of that much land and fences. You must have had some big tractors and such…

  3. They did and still do. I’ve lost track of the model numbers but they have three large tractors to pull tillage equipment and three small tractors to pull wagons, run augers, do chores etc. They also have a permanent hired hand now that my brother and I are grown and have lives of our own. I still live close enough that I can zoom down and help out once in awhile to get my “farming fix” without having all the pressures and worries of actually owning the place.

    Farming is a full time job for my parents and their hired hand. They put in 60 hour weeks year round and 80 hour weeks during the spring and fall. Farmers, and not just my parents, are some of the hardest working folks I know. Perhaps one of the reasons I became an engineer. :)

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